Jon Matonis writes in a piece posted on CoinDesk that he presented to Swiss banking officials the idea that Bitcoin should claim XBT as an ISO currency code.
An ISO 4217 code is a standard three-character designation for a currency or commodity. Dollars are USD, euros are EUR, and gold is XAU.
The X is important because it designates a commodity that is independent of any government. This also means BTC could not be the ISO code, especially as it could lead to confusion if Bhutan’s Ngultrum (BTN) were to ever become a major currency.
Matonis notes that XE.com and OANDA both use the XBT code, and Bloomberg has mentioned that they were testing out XBT price quotes in house.
One big organization to possibly get on board, at least with the idea of Bitcoins, was SWIFT, the cooperative that connects banking organizations across 210 countries.
“I would not see why we at Swift could not send transactions in Bitcoin as a currency,” SWIFT CEO Gottfired Leibbrandt said in a prepared statement at Sibos, the group’s annual meeting.
Sibos was held in Dubai this year, and Bitcoin was a hot topic.
The whole point of this, Matonis writes, is that such acceptance further legitimizes Bitcoin. If SWIFT is sending XBT transactions and Bloomberg is running XBT updates in its crawl, then it has a firm foothold in the world market. This, he says, “has the ability to out-survive the elected administrations of legal jurisdictions.”
Matonis argues governments will follow the market’s lead on Bitcoin, so worrying about “sanctions and official blessings for what’s an appropriate monetary unit” is not of use to the Bitcoin community.
Next up is the Unicode symbol: B? or ? look like good options.